Women's gymnastics: Sooners to put undefeated record on the line
Astrud Reed, The Oklahoma Daily
The No. 2 Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team will be putting its perfect record on the line Friday at 6 p.m. in Morgantown to open conference play.
In the Sooners’ (7-0) four meets — the four meets have totaled seven opponents — they are averaging 196.938 points per meet, with the lowest total being 196.45 coming in the season opener against No. 8 Georgia — which OU has beaten twice this season.
The top team in the nation, Florida, is averaging 197.025 points per meet, and only one top-10 team is not averaging at least 196 points per meet. So every thousandth of a point counts.
None of the squads OU will be facing tonight have put up numbers anywhere near that.
None of the Sooners’ opponents — neither West Virginia nor Western Michigan nor William and Mary — are ranked in the top 25, and none of the three have eclipsed the 196-point mark this season. The Mountaineers have scored the best meet (195.15 points in a loss last Friday) and Western Michigan is putting up the best average with 194.2 points per meet.
However, the fact the Sooners may not have to worry about every thousandth of a point is far from their minds.
“We know not to underestimate anybody,” sophomore Lauren Alexander said. “We don’t know how prepared they are. They could be way better than we could ever imagine.”
The Sooners are coming off back-to-back 197-plus points performances — 197.325 points against Denver and 197.275 points to claim the title in the Metroplex Challenge — so they are coming into tonight’s meet on a hot streak.
In the Metroplex Challenge, OU edged out three current top-15 opponents — No. 6 LSU by .175 points, Georgia by .5 points and No. 14 Oregon State by .45 points — by winning one event, the beam event, outright and tying for first in the bars event.
“These teams are very good, and they’re going to come hard toward us just like we’re going to go our hardest toward them,” junior Taylor Spears said. “Improving every meet is definitely a good step.”
Because of the quality showing in Fort Worth on Saturday, the Big 12 awarded OU by naming Sooners to all three of its “of the week” honors, marking the third time this season that has happened.
Spears earned Gymnast of the Week while junior Lara Albright and Alexander — who claimed the beam event in the Metroplex Challenge — were named the Specialist of the Week and Newcomer of the Week, respectively.
Spears’ Gymnast of the Week honor is her third of the short season.
“I think it just shows that we’re prepared,” said Alexander, whose 9.975 on the beam in the Metroplex Challenge was the highest score by any gymnast in the nation in that event. “We’re ready to take on whoever comes at us.”
This conference opener also marks West Virginia’s first Big 12 meet, and the Sooners want to give them a good welcome, Spears said.
“We’re definitely expecting [the Mountaineers] to go as hard as they can and push us,” Alexander said.